The Government has today extended the deadline for claiming a £150 cost of living rebate on Council Tax, as nearly 200,000 households had missed out on the payment. The announcement came after Express.co.uk found numerous cases of people being told they could not claim, despite being eligible for the payment.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) announced today that it had extended the deadline for claiming the rebate to November 30. The scheme was previously supposed to end on September 30.
It also revealed that, despite 99 percent of eligible households receiving the payment, some approximately 191,000 households had yet to be paid.
The announcement came after Express.co.uk highlighted an ambiguity with the guidance on how the rebate would be disbursed.
The Government’s information sheet on the rebate states: “You get £150 per household if you paid Council Tax on your main home on April 1, 2022 and it’s in Council Tax band A, B, C or D.”
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However, some of the approximately half a million people who have moved either in April or in the month since have been told by their new council that they were not eligible for the payment.
This was because they had not been paying council tax on that particular property on April 1 – despite suffering the same soaring costs.
One household moved to a property in Ealing at the end of June, and had not been paid the £150 from their prior council – Hammersmith and Fulham. Both properties were eligible for the rebate.
When they enquired with Ealing Council, they were told they “do not qualify fir [sic] the ebergy [sic] rebate as where not in occupation ofthe [sic] property effective 1.4.22”.
Another person rents a property in Enfield, north London, and had a tenant move out in April this year.
When they spoke to their local council about the rebate for their new tenant, they were told only the person who had been living there at the time could claim it, not the new occupant.
Individuals have also moved into properties that qualify for the council tax rebate under the auspices of Haringey and Lambeth councils since April, and both have not received the rebate either.
When contact for comment, a DLUHC spokesperson clarified: “Eligible households who have moved since April 1 and have not yet received a rebate should contact their previous council.”
They added that they would have had to have moved out of an eligible household after April 1 this year in order to qualify.
However, this was not clear from the Government’s guidance, and clarification only came after the September 30 deadline for claims had passed – meaning those who did not know to contact their previous council were no longer able to.
DLUHC did not respond further, until today, when it announced the scheme had been extended.
Levelling Up minister Dehenna Davison said in a statement: “We are now extending the deadline to claim the £150 payment to ensure as many eligible households as possible receive this payment – I urge everyone to check their eligibility and contact their local council if they have not already.”
Express.co.uk understands that some eligible households may not receive payments for other reasons, such as being occupied by students or those who move frequently, and may have not left forwarding addresses.
This website also understands that any funds not disbursed to households as part of the scheme will be expected to be returned to the Treasury.
The cost of living council tax rebate was introduced earlier this year in a bid to help households with soaring energy payments, introduced by then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
As inflation has now crept above 10 percent in the UK, and many families are bracing for energy costs to rise sharply when the Government’s price cap comes to an end in April, many are hoping for more support with their bills.